You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kerry Washington receives NAACP Honors

NAACP Image Awards 2013

Kerry Washington settles the question once and for all: What’s the greater honor, speaking at the Democratic National Convention or appearing on “The Bill Maher Show”?

“Well, for me,” the politics-savvy thesp begins with a laugh, “I take my appearances on ‘Bill Maher’ very seriously. I never want to perpetuate the stereotype of the uninformed artist. But there is nothing I’ve ever experienced like speaking at the convention. There’s no way to wrap your head around how big that room is and what it takes to get ahold of their hearts and minds and ears and hold it. I’m often on stage as other people, but to really step out there and be vulnerable on stage ….” She pauses. “It’s also the most backlash I’ve ever received.”

Washington won’t name the media outlets that fed the backlash over her memorable “We the People” speech, but it “took days” before she could go online again.

The racist and sexist tweets shocked her. “The words ‘we the people’ has become a more inclusive statement throughout history,” she says. “And for me that is related to my work as an artist, because so much of my job is telling stories about other human beings. Everybody deserves to have their stories told … and that shared humanity is at the center of both my activism and my art.”

It’s also why Washington is receiving the NAACP President’s Award, chosen by org’s prexy and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, who called the actress a “modern trailblazer,” not only for her activism and early support of Barack Obama but also for her recent acting assignment: “For the first time in 40 years, we have a black woman playing the leading role in a primetime drama on network television.”

Washington, for her part, isn’t quite sure when she became aware of making network TV history with her starring role on ABC’s “Scandal,” an assignment that follows her recent portrayals in film (“Django Unchained”) and on Broadway (David Mamet’s “Race”). “I just knew I hadn’t see it on network TV in my lifetime, although actresses like Regina King and Anika Noni Rose have been doing it on cable in a fantastic way. I was born after ‘Julia’ with Diahann Carroll was on the air.”

RELATED LINKS
NAACP Image Award nominees crossover with Oscar

More Film

  • Akon (Singer, Businessman)Variety Studio Presented By

    Akon Blasts Donald Trump as He Contemplates Running for President in 2020

    Kerry Washington settles the question once and for all: What’s the greater honor, speaking at the Democratic National Convention or appearing on “The Bill Maher Show”? Related Kerry Washington Returns to Broadway in 'American Son' 'Scandal' Won't Get Revival Treatment, Shonda Rhimes Confirms “Well, for me,” the politics-savvy thesp begins with a laugh, “I take […]

  • Moviepass

    Struggling MoviePass Launches $164 Million Bond Sale

    Kerry Washington settles the question once and for all: What’s the greater honor, speaking at the Democratic National Convention or appearing on “The Bill Maher Show”? Related Kerry Washington Returns to Broadway in 'American Son' 'Scandal' Won't Get Revival Treatment, Shonda Rhimes Confirms “Well, for me,” the politics-savvy thesp begins with a laugh, “I take […]

  • Producers Guild of America PGA

    Producers Guild of America Sets Awards Show for Jan. 19, 2019

    Kerry Washington settles the question once and for all: What’s the greater honor, speaking at the Democratic National Convention or appearing on “The Bill Maher Show”? Related Kerry Washington Returns to Broadway in 'American Son' 'Scandal' Won't Get Revival Treatment, Shonda Rhimes Confirms “Well, for me,” the politics-savvy thesp begins with a laugh, “I take […]

  • Koko Dead: Gorilla Used Sign Language,

    Koko, Signing Gorilla Who Met Robin Williams and Betty White, Dies

    Kerry Washington settles the question once and for all: What’s the greater honor, speaking at the Democratic National Convention or appearing on “The Bill Maher Show”? Related Kerry Washington Returns to Broadway in 'American Son' 'Scandal' Won't Get Revival Treatment, Shonda Rhimes Confirms “Well, for me,” the politics-savvy thesp begins with a laugh, “I take […]

  • Film Movement Releasing 'Bent,' 'Midaq Alley,'

    Film Movement Releasing 'Bent,' 'Midaq Alley,' 'Lily Chou-Chou,' 'Rabbi Jacob' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Kerry Washington settles the question once and for all: What’s the greater honor, speaking at the Democratic National Convention or appearing on “The Bill Maher Show”? Related Kerry Washington Returns to Broadway in 'American Son' 'Scandal' Won't Get Revival Treatment, Shonda Rhimes Confirms “Well, for me,” the politics-savvy thesp begins with a laugh, “I take […]

  • First Man, A Star Is Born,

    Oscars at Halfway Point: 'Black Panther' Leads the Pack, With Heavy-Hitters Coming Up

    Kerry Washington settles the question once and for all: What’s the greater honor, speaking at the Democratic National Convention or appearing on “The Bill Maher Show”? Related Kerry Washington Returns to Broadway in 'American Son' 'Scandal' Won't Get Revival Treatment, Shonda Rhimes Confirms “Well, for me,” the politics-savvy thesp begins with a laugh, “I take […]

  • Josh Brolin Playback Podcast Variety

    Playback: Josh Brolin on 'Sicario: Day of the Soldado,' 'Avengers: Infinity War' and 'Deadpool 2'

    Kerry Washington settles the question once and for all: What’s the greater honor, speaking at the Democratic National Convention or appearing on “The Bill Maher Show”? Related Kerry Washington Returns to Broadway in 'American Son' 'Scandal' Won't Get Revival Treatment, Shonda Rhimes Confirms “Well, for me,” the politics-savvy thesp begins with a laugh, “I take […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content